Building new system, need advice on parts

Hi everyone,

I'm thinking of building a new gaming PC to replace my current one. I built my own PC about 4 years ago but bought a pre-fab one after that. I have a good concept of how to put together a PC and having done it before I don't think I'll have a problem. Is it as pretty striaght forward as it has been in the past?

Also, I'm looking to put together a nice gaming machine so I'm looking for advice on case/PSU/CPU/Memory/HD/Ram etc. I just bought a Nvidia 8800 GT about 2 weeks ago so I should be good in that department (unless someone on here can make a case for upgrading to a GTS or GTX or Dual SLI 8800 GTs)

Any help would be appriciated.

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  1. I have built my own computers (and other people's computers) for years, and it's just as straight forward as it was 4 years ago. The technology has advanced, so you'll want to double check a few things, simple stuff like matching the models of mobo to CPU/RAM, and little changes like SATA drives. It's all basically the same though. And stick with that 8800GT ;)

    It's hard to recommend parts, because I don't know (1) your budget (2) if you intend to overclock a little or a lot (3) any Intel/AMD/etc preferences. If I was building a new game/etc computer right now and intending to overclock a lot, it would be:

    Mobo: MSI P35 Neo2-FR LGA 775 ATX
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 (with OC’ing)
    CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS 9700
    RAM: GeIL Esoteria 4GB 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel (or you could get better memory with that mobo)
    GPU: 1x EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0
    Audio: Onboard
    PSU: FSP Group FX600-GLN V2.2/EPS12V 600W
    HDD: Reuse current one if it is SATA

    ~$1,000 roughly
  2. I agree with killerkow - you need to provide more information to enable others to provide useful suggestions.

    Read some of the other forum threads on building systems to at least get an idea about price ranges and options. I suggest that based on them you then either copy or compile a system in your budget range then ask for suggestions on that, providing more detail on uses and or preferences.
  3. Thanks for the feedback, honest I dont really even have any ideas.. I'm looking to spend 1500.00 but already have a 24' widescreen moniter and 8800 GT so I think I'm good in those departments. I don't need a huge HD as I don't store much, and only need a basic DVD burner/CD-rom.

    I really havent been in the PC hardware mix for a long time, so dont even know what MBs brands are leading the charge nor am I in touch with CPUs. I'm open to AMD or Intel (Unless someone tells me I shouldnt be)

    Hope this helps and like I said, any help would be appriciated.
  4. What kind of games do you play? What other programs do you run apart from games? Do you play a lot of FSX? Do you compress DVDs often? I'm trying to figure out here if you need SLI (i.e. a second 8800GT) and a quad-core CPU.
  5. Whatever you do, go for multiple smaller drives (2x250gb) instead of one large drive (500gb). Place Windows on one drives and games on the other. It may cost a few more dollars, but you'll get much better performance in anything you do (encoding, conversions, gaming, etc.).
  6. Well, I dont really do anything other than normal surfing/email and play WoW, EQ2 and a few MMO's not into anything really other those MMOs..

    I have never burnt a DVD so not worried about that nor any type of video editing, just looking for a pure gaming rig for the above games and future MMOs (Warhammer etc)
  7. All right. I'd go with these:

    Antec P182, there's a great sale at zipzoomfly right now

    Corsair 550VX, another great sale at

    E6750 or E8400. The E8400 is better, but it's brand new and most current motherboards need a BIOS flash to work with it, if they even work with it at all. If you want the E8400 I suggest doing some research before you pick a motherboard. Personally, I've been trying hard for the last two days to find one that works out of the box and had no luck yet.

    DDR2-800, 2x1GB, preferably Crucial or Corsair

    GA-P35-DS3L motherboard

    If you intend to overclock, add an aftermarket cooler. Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is only $28 at newegg now and good enough for a casual overclock.

    Disk: since you're not into videos, I assume something small will do. Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB, for example.

    DVD burner/reader/CD - SH-S203B.

    Maybe a sound card, if the budget allows and you care and have good speakers. The onboard audio is pretty good, so if it's just for games you don't really need a sound card.
  8. OK, Well I've spent the last day doing some research.. Can I get some feedback on the below build? Thanks

    PSU - Enermax Infiniti 650W

    Case - Antec 900

    CPU - Intel 8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache

    MB - Not sure, need help here.. I read the Gigabit GA P35C 775 was good but the newegg reviews have me scared. I'm also thinking about an Asus P5K deluxe

    Ram - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA1065 - Retail x2 (4gig total)

    HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM x2

    DVD - ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T - Retail

    HS + Fan = Tuniq Tower 120mm w/ Arctic 5 (Since I'm getting the retail E8400 do I need to get Arctic cleaner to remove the stock HS/Fan compound?

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be appriciated.
  9. The Antec 900 case is an excellent choice and it is on sale at the moment at newegg for only $90. To give you some choice you might also compare it with the Antec 182 ($70AR right now at zipzoom fly as aevm noted) - which should be a little quieter and the Antec Sonata III ($109AR with PSU) - which should be quieter and more economical (it comes with an excellent PSU - the Antec Earthwatts 500w). The Sonata also has a front eSATA port that I like but a gloss black finish that I do not. These are all good cases so it would just be personal preferences that dictate which is best for you.
    Antec P182
    Antec Sonata III

    The Enermax Infiniti is a good PSU, but a lot more power than you need unless you plan to go SLI, do extreme overclocking, or load your system with a lot of periperhals. If not, a good 500w-550w PSU should be more than ample. You might consider the units recommend on this list of reliable, energy efficient units for less than $150

    Note that the Antec Earthwatts 500w in the Sonata III case recommended above is on the list. In fact, it is listed first (although the list is in alphabetical order). It would also be a good choice with the other cases and is a steal right now, on sale for only $50 (a fraction of the cost to be eligible for the recommended list above)

    The E8400 could be an excellent CPU choice. However if you purchase it now you might need to flash your bios to make it work with a mobo - or at least decide ahead if you are willing to do this or want to limit yourself to boards for which this is not necessay. You might want to look at this recent thread about the E8400

    Note that rebate sales can be fleeting so if you find a good one it is best to act quickly.
  10. Some ideas for the mobo:

    About the GA-P35C-DS3R: that's the one I bought, way back in July when I was optimistic about DDR3. It's good, but it wouldn't be my first choice now.

    Compared to GA-P35-DS3R, you pay about $30 more for the GA-P35C-DS3R, get the useless DDR3 support, get lower overclocking potential, and the only good thing is you get eSATA.

    If you want an even better motherboard from that family and can afford to pay a bit more look at GA-P35-DS4 (about $170). Compared to GA-P35-DS3R it adds Firewire and eSATA and a second PCI-E x16 slot (running at x4)
    The aBit IP35Pro is very similar to the DS4 and on sale at newegg now.

    There's also a GA-X38-DS4 (about $200) which looks a lot like the GA-P35-DS4 but has both video card slots running at x16 (i.e. it's good for Crossfire) and PCI-E 2.0 slots (i.e. good for future video cards).

    AFAIK all these need a flash to work with the E8400. I posted details on doing this for the GA-X38-DS4 yesterday on some other thread. Can't find it right now, but the idea is you download the F2 BIOS and put it on a USB thumb drive, then install the E8400, boot with it, do the flashing. With some mobos it's not as easy, some even need an older CPU there so they can boot at all.
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